Wednesday 16 July 2014

What did Jesus save us from? Death


If I was asked this with not much time to answer I would have to say that Jesus saved us from death, or gave us eternal life - but the meanings of the key words and concepts of 'death' and 'eternal life' are not likely to be understood.

I might try to make a few points:

1. Before Jesus came, Men would die; after Jesus, they now have eternal life. All men now have eternal life. This is why the Gospels are called good news.

2. Death means that the body dies, and the soul is severed from it; and (before Christ) the souls of all Men (maybe a handful of exceptions) continued to live in a miserable, hope-less, demented, state which the Ancient Hebrews called Sheol, and the Greco-Roman pagans called Hades. This is what we have been saved-from by Jesus.

3. After the life of Christ, when we die the separation of body and soul is only temporary, then all Men are resurrected with a perfected body.

4. After resurrection each Man decides whether to accept Jesus's offer to live in Heaven (ultimately, a perfected earth, New Jerusalem) with Him, and also those we love who also accept this offer; or else to reject this offer and go our own way, on our own terms, existentially alone (Hell).

This is also called judgement. It is about whether we live in the society of the saved, and live by the rules of that society - which requires repentance and acknowledgement that we have been sinful; or not.

Men really have the power to defy Jesus Christ, to refuse to agree with God's explanation of Good and evil, beauty and ugliness, truth and lies, virtue and vice - and to assert the ultimate validity of our own perspective against that of God. We really can reject divine principle and rules, and live either alone or among those others who also rejected the society of the saved, its principles and its rules.

5. So, after Jesus Christ, nobody dies, everybody is resurrected, everybody gets to decide on their fate. Nobody is 'sent to Hell' - but some people choose not to accept Heaven.



John Kenney Jr. said...

Where would I find this theory in the bible?

Bruce Charlton said...

@JKJ - If it was set out in the Bible explicitly and clearly what Jesus meant by 'death' and saving us from it, then I wouldn't need to think about the subject.